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Madden v. Creative Services, Inc.
New York Court of Appeals
84 N.Y.2d 738, 622 N.Y.S.2d 467, 646 N.E.2d 780 (1995)
George Madden formed a neighborhood coalition to oppose the construction of a movie-theater complex by National Amusements, Inc. (National) (defendant). Madden recruited attorney Francis Kenny to provide legal services to the coalition and petition the town to deny National’s rezoning application. National hired private-investigative firm Creative Services, Inc. (defendant). Creative had investigators surveil Madden and his wife, Roseanne Cohen (plaintiffs). Using a pretext, the investigators also gained access to Kenny’s office and photographed privileged documents about the zoning dispute. The investigators were discovered by building personnel and fled but were arrested the next day. The photographs were not developed, and no information was disclosed. Madden and Cohen filed an action against Creative, National, and others, alleging intentional interference with the attorney-client privilege, among other claims. The district court dismissed the complaint. The Second Circuit certified to the New York Court of Appeals the question of whether the New York courts recognized a cause of action for invasion of the attorney-client privilege.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)
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